Nancy Brown

Chief Executive Officer

Nancy Brown

Nancy Brown is Chief Executive Officer of the American Heart Association (AHA). The Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives dedicated to ensuring equitable health for all – in the U.S. and around the world.

Serving as CEO since 2008, Nancy has elevated the AHA as a global leader in heart disease and stroke science innovation. Under her leadership and 30+ year AHA career, the Association established the first-ever definition of “cardiovascular health” and just announced its bold 2030 global aspiration:  “Together with global and local collaborators, we will equitably increase worldwide healthy life expectancy from 64 to at least 67, by 2030.” The Association’s work is led by over 40 million volunteers, scientists, staff and donors.

Nancy has also steered the organization to numerous advances:

  • Launching the AHA’s Institute for Precision Cardiovascular Medicine to fulfill the promise of personalized medicine:
    • Research Goes Red™, putting patients and women at the center of research;
    • The Center for Accelerated Drug Discovery™, leveraging the state-of-the-art super-computing technology of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to validate targeted drug hypotheses and reduce time to market of new therapies by as much as 50 percent; and
    • The AHA Precision Medicine Platform powered by Amazon’s cloud-based technology that enables the global medical research community to accelerate breakthroughs in cardiovascular and brain diseases.
  • One Brave Idea™, a $85 million research collaboration to end coronary heart disease, co-founded with Verily, with significant support from AstraZeneca and pillar support from Quest Diagnostics;
  • Convening the AHA’s CEO Roundtable, comprised of 42 member CEOs from the most influential corporations committed to piloting and adopting science-informed workplace health solutions;
  • Creating the Value in Healthcare Initiative, a breakthrough collaboration with the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy bringing together C-suite executives of large pharma, biotech, insurers, pharmacy/PBM, diagnostics, device, government, healthcare solutions and health systems to improve patient outcomes/value and develop a framework for system-wide reform that supports an equitable and affordable system of care;
  • Launching $30 Million Cardeation Capital venture fund, together with UPMC and Philips, investing in innovative healthcare solutions;
  • Advancing new mission-aligned enterprises to improve health outcomes including Emergency Cardiovascular Care (ECC), Resuscitation Quality Improvement (RQI)® Venture between AHA and Laerdal and the Center for Health Technology and Innovation; and
  • Evolving the Association’s integrated global strategy expanding international presence and impact.

In addition to her work at the AHA, Nancy shares her passion for improving the health of individuals in the U.S. and globally as co-chairman of the Health Governors Community and member of the Board of Stewards of the World Economic Forum, vice-chairman of the Truth Initiative, and as a member of the Precision Medicine Council and Board of Directors of the World Economic Forum’s Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the Coalition to Transform Advanced Care, Research! America, the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and the Valentin Fuster-Mount Sinai Foundation for Science, Health & Empowerment. She also serves as a member of the Phillips Advisory Board, Verily Project Baseline Advisory Board and Leadership18.  She is a past chairman of the board and current board member of the National Health Council.

Prior to being named CEO, Nancy served as AHA's Chief Operating Officer, managing the Association's mission, science and operations and integrated strategy to achieve its 2010 Impact Goal to reduce coronary heart disease, stroke and risk by 25 percent. Notable accomplishments include the creation of AHA’s Go Red for Women movement to advance women’s heart health and a suite of quality improvement programs including Get With The Guidelines. She has held multiple leadership positions at the AHA since beginning her career in 1986 leading fundraising in the Michigan Affiliate, serving as the Executive Director in Metro Detroit, as well as Executive Vice President of the former Massachusetts and former New England Affiliates. Prior to joining the AHA, Nancy served as Director of Development, Deputy Director of the Endowment Campaign for the Michigan Cancer Foundation, and Special Events Director for Mount Carmel Mercy Hospital in Detroit.